SportsEvents Magazine

SEP 2015

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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Page 18 of 59 September 2015 19 The organization held its Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) West Coast National Cham- pionship in July at the Las Vegas Conven- tion Center in Nevada. "Each foor takes about 5,000 square feet. I need a minimum of 18 foors for the event," Williams said. The Jam On It basketball tour- nament was held over Memorial Day weekend at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. The organiza- tion runs a lot of teams—6,000— through its system at events in Reno and Las Vegas, Utah, and Sacramento, Calif. Ten kids per team adds up to a lot of families, so the area must have a variety of hotel rooms. More than 1,100 teams (13,000 athletes) took part in the Reno event, said Shelli Fine, director of sports development for the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority. Fine estimated attendance at about 20,000. The Reno/Tahoe area has 20,000 hotel rooms to accom- modate attendees and athletes. Working with the local destina- tion marketing organizations and government agencies is also important for the organizations holding events. Schubert said the Louisville (Ky.) Sports Commission and the CVB "have been great to work with us in putting this thing together." For example, the Kentucky Expo Center built ramps for wheelchair access to the courts for the NWBA National Championships, said Melanie C. Duke, director of business development for the Expo Center. Sometimes, a venue that's willing to make such accommodations is critical to an event's success. The Lancaster Event Center in Lincoln, Neb., for example, has allowed mud pits, obstacles and a dirt arena to be built for various events. The center even provided equipment to help build the obstacles, said Amy Dickerson, managing director of the Lancaster Center. Have a group with special dietary needs? Dick- erson said they have set up special conces- sions stands with a tailored menu. Fine said the Reno-Sparks Center always does "whatev- er needed to take extra spe- cial care of our clients." For example, she said the center can bring in extra bleacher seating, mats for wrestling or carpeting for fencing. Technical needs are big now, she said. It is important for planners and the facility to communi- cate clearly on what is needed and what is available in case some- thing has to be brought in from an out- side source. With every event held for the frst time in a new facility, there is a learning curve. But once any kinks are worked out, using an indoor venue can be a win for everyone involved, offcials said. n t SPECIAL FEATURE

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